Pre Season Friendly.

Boreham Wood 0 ReadingX1 0,

by John Mead.

Just 24 hours after an energy sapping game against Watford’s First Eleven, Wood faced a Reading side made up of eleven players with First Team experience. This group of players were winners of the inaugural Premier League Under 21 Cup Final last season, defeating Manchester City in the final over two legs. Reading Pic 3

Four triallists started for Wood, along with in the main outfield players who did not start against Watford. It was very much an experimental evening, with Reading making nine changes midway through the second half. Wood Boss Ian Allinson reciprocated making seven substitutes as the game wore on.

There was understandably a lack of fluency from Wood in the opening half. That said the defence dealt with everything that the visitors had to offer.

The first chance of the game came when a Daniel Wishart corner on the right for Wood was prodded goalwards by Callum Donnelly. It took a goal line clearance from a defender to keep the scores even. At the heart of the Wood defence Yads Mambo turned in an assured performance alongside Josh Hill.

Reading Pic 1Mario Noto conceded possession but another Wood triallist Aaron Toimba was on hand to block a shot from the lively and impressive Craig Tanner. Up front for Wood was Charlie Walker who has impressed John Still, earning a contract at Luton Town after scoring 43 goals for Peacehaven and Telscombe last season, yet he had little to feed from.

Tanner went close from a free kick for Reading, before Walker cut out a slack ball across the defence hitting a rasping drive that tested Mikkel Anderson in the Reading goal as the first half drew to a close.

James Courtnage was called into action cutting out a cross cum shot from Dominic Samuel, before palming away a well struck left footed effort from Tanner.

With 56 minutes played Wishart could have gone to ground inside the penalty area under a challenge from Jack Stacey, but remained upright much to his credit.

Allinson made three changes with Callum Reynolds, Graeme Montgomery and Matty Whichelow coming on after 58 minutes. Three minutes later Reading changed all but one of their outfield players. Reading Pic

The pace intensified and with fourteen minutes remaining Scott Thomas, Lee Angol, Greg Morgan and Benn Nunn had all joined the action. Whichelow went close with a fine curling effort, before Cournage did well to hold a low drive from Dominic Hyam. The last chance of the game came from the ex Stevenage player Filipe Morais who only found the side netting for the visitors.

It was for Ian Allinson, “ A difficult evening given that we started with four triallists. We were also playing the Under 21 Cup Champions! It did give me the opportunity to get minutes into those who did not play the whole game the day before. We have only scored one goal so far from the penalty spot, but we have faced Full Time opposition in every pre season to date. The players now have the weekend off and we have two more matches before the season begins. I will assess the squad over the coming week and make sure we are fully prepared come August 9th.”

Team: Courtnage, Mawer ( Montgomery 58), Toimba ( Morgan 73), Cox ( Sterling-Parker 85), Hill ( Reynolds 58), Mambo, Noto (Nunn76), Hope ( Thomas 73), Walker ( Shakes 81), Donnelly ( Angol 73), Wishart ( Whichelow 58).

Sub not used: Freund